The first big in-person event of the One Piece card game is nearly upon us! Make sure you’re ready for the day with some top tips and must-knows to give yourself the best chance of taking home some cool promos.
While many players of the One Piece card game have come from other Bandai TCG’s like Digimon – many of you will be brand new to card gaming in general. That’s no surprise!
One Piece is the best-selling manga series of all time and one of the biggest franchises ever created. So fans have been flocking to try it out – though you’ve probably struggled to find packs like so many of us.
Luckily, it’s a really well-made game with carefully thought-out mechanics. So much so that locals and tournaments are as popular as can be and there is a healthy online scene.
Biggest EVER One Piece Tournament
The Treasure Cup is the first official, large-scale tournament for the game. This February there will be nine events across the world, each featuring up to 512 competitors each. That makes these the biggest tournaments in the Global English version to date.
The dates are: –
- Feb 4th – Core TCG – Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center California, USA
- Feb 4th / 5th – Carta Magica – Niagara Falls Convention Centre Ontario, Canada
- Feb 4th / 5th – OPE – Secret Space Digbeth Birmingham, UK
- Feb 4th / 5th – Let’s Play Games – Civic Pavilion Sydney, Australia
- Feb 11th / 12th – PPG – Miami Airport Convention Center Texas, USA
- Feb 18th / 19th – Play!TCG – Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, USA
- Feb 18th / 19th – Raid’N’Trade – Badnerlandhalle Stuttgart, Germany
- Feb 18th / 19th – Coqui – Hotel Grand Place Santiago, Chile
- Feb 25th – Fort Worth Convention Center Texas, USA
You can take a look at registration details and more at the official site but registration for most is now closed. Now let’s get to our top tips and things you’ll need to be aware of before the event.
1 – Legal Cards
Each tournament organizer has a list of legal sets and cards, so you might want to double check with them. However, we know that the ST01 through to ST04 Starter Decks, OP01 cards, and promos from P-001 to P-024 are legal
So the promos from the Promotion Pack 2022 (P-001 to P-005), Tournament Pack Vol.1 and Tournament Pack Vol.1 -Winner- (P-006 to P-010) and the Film Red Uta deck (P-011 to P-023) are legal. As is the P-024 Pirate Party card.
The ST05 Starter Deck that will be released on Feb 3rd before the Treasure Cup will not be legal. Event Pack Vol.1 cards (P-0028 to P-032) are also not legal, so you can get a pack from another Treasure Cup (or the day before) and add it to your deck.
2 – Sleeve Your Deck Properly
If you’ve been playing games with your cards raw, straight out of the pack – things will need to change.
Most card games require that in a tournament setting you must have your cards sleeved. This is so it’s not possible to figure out what card you might draw based on a marking, scratch, or bend.
The official tournament rules manual makes it clear. You must use opaque (not see-through at all) sleeves that are “identical in terms of color, wear and design, and all cards must be placed into sleeves in the same direction and manner“. One sleeve per card is fine, two is also fine.
Be aware that the most common “penny” card sleeves by Ultra Pro are too big to fit in most outer sleeves.
Your Don!! and Leader cards must also be sleeved in different colors/design sleeves from your main deck. So for instance red for your don and leader, then blue for your main deck. Your leader can be in a separate card protector or sleeve.
Most players double-sleeve their main deck cards and leader for added protection. You have a couple of choices but I prefer to use perfect fit inner sleeves combined with Dragon Shield dual matte, or a darker color of the normal matte. This game uses Standard sizing.
You can have one sleeve going one way and the other, but all the inners must match in direction, same for the outers. So for me, I double sleeve with the perfect fits from the top of the card, then the outer sleeves from the bottom up.
Sleeves must also conform to the following: –
- You may have only one card in each sleeve. You may not have anything but that card in the
- Players may use up to two sleeves per card to maintain the condition of their cards. If judges deem the type of sleeves used excessive, or that the sleeves used allow cards to be
distinguished from one another, a player may be instructed to change sleeves or remove
- Players are not allowed to use sleeves that obstruct the front of the card.
- Sleeves with reflective backs or holographic fronts are not allowed.
- Sleeves with artwork on the backs, provided all sleeves are identical and are of a non-
offensive nature, are allowed.
You may well get a deck check from an official at the start of the tourney or randomly in the day. They’ll warn you if they think a sleeve looks marked or different and you will be asked to replace it with an exact match – be ready.
You can even request a judge to check someone’s sleeves if you think they are marked in any way.
3 – Get Your Timings Right
Make sure you know the event start time and plan to be at least 15-30 minutes early. If you’re late you might be disqualified, or at best take a loss for the first round. Ideally, you’ll want to stay over the night before and leave the day after the event.
Less than five minutes late to a match is a warning. More than five is a match loss, which means you lose the full game in best-of-one rounds!
4 – Know The Event Rules
Most of the events are set over two days, using the swiss format. Some are a fully packed single day. On day one, players will play best-of-one games. Winning gets you 3 points, a draw is 1, and 0 for a loss. Matches are 35 minutes, then five minutes of overtime.
If you are still playing at 35 minutes, five minutes of overtime is given. You get three turns, with the current player starting on turn zero. If there is no winner in five minutes, the player with the most life cards wins. If that’s a draw it then goes to the number of cards remaining in the main deck, then characters on the board, then the last person to have taken a life.
Day two is best-of-three with 60-minute games, and 10 minutes of overtime. Only the top 8 or 16 will go to this round – which is called top cut. To get here you must be undefeated or have only lost one match. In the top 16, just a few people that have lost twice will go through based on their opponent’s win rates.
Most players will not go through to the second day of top cut. You’ll probably be pretty tired by this point. Many of the Treasure Cups will have separate side events on day two that are in a similar tournament format and still has some prize cards and packs up for grabs.
5 – Get Hyped Up On The Prizes!
Prizes are as follows. With each tier you go up, you add the next set: –
- 2 x Event Pack Vol.1
- 1 x Don!! Sleeves Pack
- Top 128
- 1 x Event Pack Vol.1
- Top 64
- Top 32
- 1 x Event Pack Vol.1
- Top 16
- Top 8
- 2nd Place
- 1 x 2nd Place Playmat
- 1st Place
The single most valuable prize is likely to be the ST01-001 Monkey.D.Luffy Serial Numbered Card which will be given to the top eight players. This is a really special card that will only ever be given out to up to 700 people.
The Usopp, Chopper, and Zoro alt art cards are exclusive alt art variants with a Treasure Cup stamp. They may be given out at other Treasure Cups in the future. As there will only be eight of them and he’s a very popular character the ST01-013 Zoro will also be very sought after.
Some side events also give a Chopper to the winner, as well as extra event packs. There are only five cards to collect from Event Pack Vol.1, and they’re all very cool. With just one card per pack, the more you can collect from placing higher or entering side events: the better your collection will be.
6 – Check Your Packing List
Here’s ours: –
- Full deck with 1 Leader, 50 main cards, and 10 Don. All double-sleeved with new sleeves, in a nice deck box (Ultimate Guard 80+ are perfect). My leader card is
- Full set of backup sleeves
- Playmat – Though you don’t need to have one officially
- Trade binder – Just in case
- Extra decks for friendlies if there is time
- Printed reg info, deck list, and Bandai account number written out (in case the app crashes, which it almost certainly will)
- Phone charger
- Water and snacks
- Overnight bag, fresh clothes, deodorant
Officially you need to bring: –
- Extra card sleeves – In case any of your sleeves look like they’re marked or different from any other sleeve, you’ll be asked to replace them immediately.
- A pen to complete match slip results
- “Any additional dice, counters, or tokens your deck or gameplay may require” – Basically bring a die to decide who goes first. If you have abilities you might forget you’ve used, you can use a token to mark it so you don’t accidentally use it twice.
7 – Practice
Get as much practice in now as you can. Try and get used to your deck and have a rough plan for each turn.
You’ll want to be ready to face rush attacks from Zoro, mid-game control (and 8-cost Kid) from Kid, big board wipes from Kaido, Kid’s tricky combos, and Blue dropping great characters and sending yours back every turn.
The best way to practice right now is to go to locals and find a few play partners. Or get involved in the main One Piece Card Game discord and head to the #optcgsim-feedback channel to download an unofficial online version. It’s how most people are practicing their skills right now.
8 – Submit Your Decklist
You’ll need to submit your decklist to the organizers before the tournament starts. Most are using an app or website where you can submit a text list or picture. Check how to do that on the organizer’s discord or website – list here.
9 – Be Nice
We know you’ll be awesome, but just in case…
Don’t touch other players’ cards unless you ask and they say yes. This is pretty common to check abilities, just be polite. If you have any problems, ask a judge and they can help.
Eating or drinking at the table isn’t OK. Keep a water bottle on the floor or in a bag nearby if you need. You also can’t wear headphones, use a phone, or keep notes. Smartwatches should be disabled. Don’t watch over people’s shoulders too close, make comments, or even react to card draws if watching a match.
Weird overly-suggestive sleeves, playmats, clothing e.t.c are not allowed and not cool. “Players must maintain a socially acceptable level of personal hygiene” is literally in the rules too. Don’t be that guy.
10 – Have Fun!
Last but not least. This is the first big gathering of the One Piece Card Game community in the English release. Absolutely play for the win, but go expecting a bunch of really competitive games with fun new situations to figure out.
Be nice to people and make sure everyone is having fun. Say hi to everyone, always wish your opponent good luck, and flash them a smile. If you make a mistake, declare it and ask what the other player would like to do, and give the same courtesy to opponents.
This is the perfect place to get practice with different decks and playstyles, learn some new tricks, and trade some cards!
Let us know what you think of our suggestions, and leave a comment if you have any of your own.